Oh, Say Can You IP
Independence day is meant to be spent grilling out in the backyard with friends and family until it’s time for the classic Fourth of July tradition — fireworks. Americans spend more than $1 billion on fireworks each year, totaling up to a jaw-dropping 268 million pounds. So, in honor of the Fourth, the ktMINE team took a look at some intriguing patents related to fireworks.
One might think based on the amount of money Americans spend on fireworks in a given year, the United States (U.S.) would be the top owner of firework-related patents. However, with these illuminations originating in medieval China back in the 9th century along with providing 95% of the world’s fireworks, it’s little surprise that China holds the lead with 5,767 patent applications and grants. The U.S. takes second place when it comes to countries with the most firework-related patent activity however, the difference between first and second is quite drastic. The U.S. currently accounts for just 401 patent applications and grants.
Cue the Music
Over the many decades that fireworks have been lighting up the sky, they have evolved on multiple different levels, from once being exploding bamboo to only being the color orange. In today’s day and age with the rapid advancements in technology, the standard firework show doesn’t suffice anymore. Viewers now crave the “wow” factor more than ever before. That is why musically choreographed firework shows are becoming increasingly more popular amongst firework enthusiasts. The following patent for the Method of Making Music Fireworks allows for music to play sequentially with the firework launch, making the viewing experience more enriched.
An overarching issue when it comes to fireworks is safety. Many types of fireworks are considered to be illegal for both purchase and use in many states across the U.S. Due to these regulations, determined firework enthusiasts drive across state lines to get ahold of their own sparkly displays. With only 10% of firework displays set off professionally, the risk of being injured has increased immensely. Back in 2017, upwards of 12,900 people ended up in the hospital with firework-related injuries. Needless to say, safety is absolutely critical when it comes to these celebratory illuminations and many patents are being filed to protect all parties involved. For example, the firework and firecracker storage bin pictured below has automatic temperature control and fire extinguishing functions working to keep people safe as they transport and store fireworks.
As the world works toward a greener planet – the firework industry is following suit. The highest number of patent applications and grants for “environmentally friendly fireworks” was in 2018, totaling 22 applications and 6 granted patents.
The following patent is for the invention of an environment-friendly firecracker with a double primer detonator combined model structure, as seen in the image below. This firecracker is special in that it comprises environment-friendly firecracker bodies, primer detonators, and packaging boxes.
Patents like the ones mentioned help us to have a safe and happy Fourth of July celebration. As the number of firework-related patents continues to climb year over year, we look forward to seeing what patent filings and firework shows will look like come 2020.